As Found Classics(.com)
Welcome to our newest page!
Here’s the thing. I have a ton of photos of cars in an ‘as found’ condition. Most were taken in the last century. I would guess that our readers also have a few stacks of photos of cars that they’ve found lying about here and there over the past several decades. No sense in wasting them so we’ll share them!
What is “As Found”?
Good question. Try this:
“Any classic car prior to a complete restoration, discovered by a person or persons with a camera, found in an interesting background, location, or situation.” The older and rarer the better.
What do you have?
We have enough to get the ball rolling, but we are really interested in seeing what our readers can come up with from their respective shoe boxes. Old film photos are preferred, but recent digital images are fine too. It’s just that it is getting harder to find ‘as found’ cars!
If you have any, let us know. We’ll be glad to publish them. If you can, send the images along with a short paragraph or story like the one below, elaborating about when, where, and why the photo was taken; if not, send what you know. Only French and Italian cars need apply. Scan at 300 dpi and send to me at email@example.com. You can also send via snail mail and I’ll scan, and return. Please make sure there are no copyright issues!
As Found Classic Number Twenty-Three
Santa Croce – PARMA
Last fall I found this car parked in the basement of a closed Fiat dealership in Cremona Italy. It had sat since 1979 and been “sort of” taken care of first by the now deceased owner and then his son. We know very little about it.
(Read Full Story)
As Found Classic Number Twenty-Two
This photo was taken by my father Don Vack on June 18, 1960 at Road America near Elkhart Lake Wisconsin. At a time when American cars could be called many things but rarely beautiful, my father made an effort to show me, and later my brother Greg, that there were in fact cars that were beautiful, stunning, and well-proportioned; most did not hail from Detroit. This Talbot Lago was one of them. For over a half century, we wondered who the coachbuilder was, for lack of other ideas, assumed that it was a Figoni et Falaschi creation. Now, thanks to Peter Larsen, Bruno Martin and current owner Steve Hamilton, we can answer that question.
As Found Classic Number Twenty One
In early 2013 I was asked to inspect a car in Turin that was abandoned in a garage in the 70s and had never seen the light until our inspection. The car had a BMW 750 twin engine and a tubular chassis, so someone suggested the owner that it could be a Nardi.
As you know, the tubular chassis and this type of engine were the cornerstones on which Nardi built a bunch of his winning hillclimb model, the ND 750 beginning in 1947. The ND 750 had a tubular chassis designed by an old Nardi acquaintance named Augusto Monaco, whilst the engine came from the ARAR war surplus scrapyards and was originally fitted to the BMW R75 motorbikes of the German armed forces.
Both these elements were on our mystery car, but it was definitely not a Nardi. The design of the chassis was different, the size of the tubes was different, the engine had none of the tuning elements that Nardi used to modify the engine and so on. I went on with my researches and discovered … here it is what I discovered.
As Found Classic Number Twenty
Carl Goodwin on a Siata find that needs your help
In his great book on Siata cars, and especially the 8V model, author Tony Andriaensens includes even the remains of a derelict 208 Spyder. That’s the one that John Dunham and a motorcyclist friend found in Tijuana, Mexico. It is Siata serial number BS 527.
It could have been taken to the scrap yard and sold for the value of the aluminum body, but John and his friend found it first. And now, thanks to this fortuitous event, the car will be saved. In fact it is being saved.
As Found Classic Number Nineteen
One of my favorite photos to share…my 1934 Alfa Romeo 6C2300 Pescara, S/N 700.610. It was your copy of “High Performance Italian Cars” that I had the good fortune to buy from you, which in turn led me to become a premium subscriber to VeloceToday!
As Found Number Eighteen
The response to the Alfa in search of a chassis was so helpful that our French collector sent another mystery Alfa for our readers to solve. Surely someone in Europe or the U.S. might remember this chop job…who would forget this attempt make a sow’s ear out of a silk purse. Here is all we know:
“This is an Alfa Giulietta SS 1961, sold new in Belgium. Someone wanted to make it more streamlined, or it was in an accident and perhaps they wanted a more fancy body, or someone got the urge to make a Sprint Speciale look like the Bertone Ferrari. They raced or rallied with the car, so perhaps someone may have a picture? This car a part of my collection, in Bar le Duc France.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org”
As Found Number Seventeen
A mystery in Italy, France and anywhere there might be an Alfa SZ without its original body. A VeloceToday reader and collector from TrustClassics in Bar le Duc, France, sent these photos of a front and back section of an Alfa SZ.
All we know is that they were found in Italy, but are now with the collector in France.
There does not appear to be any Zagato stampings or marks to indicate the body run, nor any idea of what the chassis number that was associated with the body.
Clearly, the panels were once on a chassis, but no one knows which one. They could be spare Zagato parts as offered by Zagato in the 1960s.
If anyone knows the history, chassis number, Zagato number of any information that might help, please get in touch with Luck Rockx at email@example.com
As Found Number Sixteen
Reader Richard Plavetich writes:
When you started the As Found Classics column on VeloceToday, I submitted photos of my Simca 8 Sport I bought a few years ago. (see above). Well, suddenly, the story has become much more interesting!
This week I was contacted by the son of the (deceased) prior owner. His mother found a poster from the 1950 Sebring 6 hour race listing the results. She said the prior owner of the Simca was named John Bentley. His name was on the poster, shown as having finished the race in a Simca, in 21st place (out of 23).
I found a March 1951 issue from Road & Track in my archives showing the Bentley Simca at Sebring. The car shown is dark (black?).
My car is white – having been painted in the early 50’s. However, from some flaking paint on the front of the car, clearly it was originally painted black. Additionally, it is fit with a period fabricated dual-carb manifold.
In doing some further research on John Bentley’s racing career online I learned that he also ran a Simca in the 5/12/51 Giants’ Despair Hillclimb.
While this information is very exciting, I am trying to find additional images or information linking the Simca to John Bentley, Sebring 1950, or the Giants’ Despair Hillclimb of 1951. I never imagined that the car had such a past! Any help with this mystery would be much appreciated!!!
Laguna Beach CA
As Found Number Fifteen
What a neat little coupe, but the lot of us can’t figure out the coachbuilder or chassis! Thanks to Dale Lafollette of VintageMotorphoto for these photos of yet another mystery Lancia. As LaFollette wrote, “This is in my collection, I need to dry mount it as it is damaged but I really love it. It is French I am sure, I would love to have this car as it is somewhere between an Bugatti Atlantic and a cartoon!”
We were stumped so we sent the photo on to our senior correspondent Gijsbert-Paul Berk. He in turn wrote:
Concerning your mystery car: I searched in my files but did not find anything resembling the car on the photo. Then I tried to read the text on the photo. It is not very clear and a rather difficult handwriting, but by enlarging the photo this is what I could decipher:
1e Prix d’Or de l’Juauiame
Creations Henri Leuyx? Ferrel or Ferral
Victor Hugo Meusuufuvile? 1935
PM. Jusquiames are plants belonging to the Hyoscyamus group and are family of the Solanacées. In Europe two types are known; the White Jusquiame (Hyoscyamus albus) that grow mainly around the Mediterranean basin and the Black Jusquiame (Hyoscyamus niger) which is more widespread. Both plants have attractive flowers but are extremely poisonous.
NB. There is also a very successful 4 year-old racehorse in France with the name “Black Jusquiame.”
My guess is that the car is a custom-bodied Lancia Belna. The Belna were the Lancia Augusta produced in the French Lancia factory at Bonneul-sur-Marne. Telltales are the right-hand steering wheel and the wheels. The car was probably made by a small coachwork shop in Puteaux (a suburb of Paris).
I think that the workforce of this enterprise is proudly posing behind the car in 1935 after their ‘creation’ won the Golden First Prize de l’Juauiame in a local Concours. Unfortunately, I could not find a trace of a Carrossier called Ferrel or Ferral in the phone book or business register of Puteaux.
For your information I include a photo of a Lancia Belna so you can compare the wheels.
Best regards, Gijsbert-Paul
LaFollette counted the holes in the wheels and they are not the same…but the Belna connection still makes the most sense here. Now it is your turn! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any information.
As Found Number Fourteen
One of Lancia’s late and perhaps unlamented last-ditch efforts to capture a share of the U.S. market was the Beta, which in turn gave way to the much more interesting mid-engined Monte Carlo, or Scorpion, as it was known in the U.S. as Chevy had claimed the tag for its oh-so-sophisticated Chevy Monte Carlo. The Beta sold in decent numbers but not enough. A few remain, here and there, this one hidden behind fishing gear in a remote area of Virginia. We don’t know if it is still there.
As Found Number Thirteen
Thanks to Dale Lafollette of VintageMotorphoto for these photos of a Lancia. Clearly it is an Astura, and thanks to Paolo Giusti and Geoffrey Goldberg, we even know some of the history of this particular car. But what we don’t know is where these photos were taken, by whom, exactly when, or who owned it at the time.
In the mid-1950s, when these photos were taken, the Lancia was apparently in Indiana or at least licensed in that state. To help you help solve the mystery, the two photos below can be enlarged to twice the size if clicked.
We have a great many readers in the U.K., Italy, and the U.S. Can you help?
As Found Number Twelve
Another not quite “as found” but we would like to know if any of our readers might shed some light on this recent entrant at the Art of the Car Concours in Kansas City. Here is what Michael T. Lynch reported about the car:
“Ralph Marano’s Vignale-bodied Packard is a mystery. The body is on a 1939 Packard 120 chassis, named for the length of its wheelbase. Several questions arise. Was it sent to Italy as a bare chassis? If not, did it lose its body during the war? How did it find its way to Vignale? It is thought that the coachwork was done in 1948, which would make it one of the first cars Vignale did under his own name. Whatever happened, the car is very Vignale with wonderful details. Alfredo was already a master. Despite the size of the car, his fluidity of design is just as evident as on the smaller cars he usually worked on.”
Can anyone answer any of these questions? Note that the inset in the photo below is an even rarer Packard Vignale convertible reportedly built as late as 1953.
As Found Number Eleven
From VeloceToday reader Doug Wink:
I bought a B20 Aurelia in England in 1976 and subsequently joined the American Lancia Club. I took this photo at one of the club picnics in the late 70s. I don’t remember where, or who the host was, but he had these two Aurelias (one spider and one convertible) in his garage. I liked the light, as well as the cars, so here it is.
As Found Number Ten
JP Duhem sent us some tantalizing “As Found” photos of a sports racing car either under construction or being modified. Note the heavy tube chassis beneath the oddly placed steering box, and Porsche? type steel wheels. JP told us the cars is situated in Belgium and belonged to the Heers brothers, who were fond of racing. It has been sitting in a dark cellar for thirty years. Since the car is so tantalizing we have included four photos to help identify it or the chassis. No, we have no other information. Let’s hear it from our readers!
As Found Number Nine
Reader Dave Rex submitted these photos and here is his story:
In 1961 I bought a very nice 1956 Corvette from the original owner. It had dual quads, been bored to 283 cu in and a 1957 four-speed added by the dealer. My dream car!
I had a real interest in road racing after attending some of the races at Road America and was excited about getting a sports car that I could enter in some rallies and autocrosses.
A few weeks after I bought the Corvette there was an ad in the local paper for a Ferrari located a couple of miles from my house in Wilmette, Illinois. I answered the ad and went to look at the car. They were asking $1,800 for the car which is exactly what I had paid for the Corvette. The car needed some bodywork on the left front fender but that was not a deal-breaker.
I struggled with the decision on whether to sell the Corvette and buy the Ferrari or to keep the Corvette. I finally decided to keep the Corvette. I had a lot of fun with the car for the next 30 years. I took it to race driver’s school, autocross events and rallies. Looking back I could have done the same with the Ferrari and would have had a much more unusual car…..In my next life I’ll be smarter!
As Found Number Eight
Marke Jaffe writes: I have another “As found” submission. In the early 1960s, a bunch of my buds and I used to travel from suburban Philadelphia to many surrounding SCCA events, and we even had a habit of hanging out in a little garage in Bryn Mawr, PA where Roger Penske (he was one of our neighbors in Gladwyne) was building and tuning his “Telar Special” which I believe was a Cooper-Maserati. One of our trips was to an event in Cumberland, MD where the photo at the following link was taken.
As Found Number Seven
Or maybe an “As Built Classic” this week. At any rate, Toly Arutunoff purchased this oddity a few years back. He’d like to get FISA papers on it so he can enter it at Villa d’Este. And why not? So with that in mind, here is a bit about the car in Toly’s own words:
“This special, based on an MGA 1600 chassis and engine, was built in the early ’80s–don’t ask me how i know–by the Romanian sculptor Pistoi who lives/lived in St. Paul, Minnesota. It’s an aluminum body that lifts off the chassis by removing about 9 bolts. It’s called a Savoy (written on the headrest plaque (I think) and there’s a little plaque on the side that says “3”. Various claiming-to-be-knowledgeable people have told me through the last decade or so that there’s a vaguely similar car in a collection in Japan. It’s asymmetrical with that lift-up door on the driver’s side only. It has many small art deco features that you have to get close to discover. It drives just fine, although bumpily because of the oversize tires for esthetics’ sake.
“It was advertised with a small photo on the back of a “L’Art et l”Automobile” catalog years ago. I was the only bidder. I picked up the car at Hyman’s in St. Louis and he couldn’t get over how he let this little work of art get away. “It was sitting right there for months,” he said. I told him his mind was clouded because of all the high-zoot automobiles on his floor and that anyway God wanted me to have it.
“Now, all we need are papers. Can anyone…like Jeremy Hall…help out?”
As Found Number Six
A true “as found” this week, and a very special car indeed. In 1964, Zagato designer Ercole Spada, fresh off the Alfa Zagato TZ2 project, designed a series of “frowning little rascals’ meant for the Hillman Imp (Zimp), the BMC Mini Cat, and for the Fiat 850, a unique and daring new coupe. At least two were made. One was found after 36 years of hibernation.
As Found Number Five
This week another old race car. We think Mr. Ludvigsen has provided the answer to number 4 below, and unexpectedly it was found to be an Austin Healey. But what is the car above? It looks like one of the early pre-DB Aston Martins, but the grille does not make sense. So have fun with this one!
As Found Number Four
Ok, so like the Ferrari Number Three, this is not actually an “As Found” photo. But, we just can’t let these photos go by unnoticed! Randy Cook, author of the new book Bowtie Ferraris sent us this image found on Darrin’s Old Car photo site. Is it a Ferrari, he wondered? Is it a Chevy-engined Ferrari? We didn’t know so we passed it on. To most everyone who knew anything about Ferraris. NONE could come up with an answer. So, your turn…but this photo is ALL the information we have…just a date. No location, name, or car. Good Luck!
May 14, 2015 From Karl Ludvigsen: Number 4 looks very much like a Chevy-engined Austin-Healey about which I wrote in the day. I believe I did a story on it for Hot Rod of all people.
At the time I was in Red Bank, New Jersey learning how to fix radios for the Army. I ran across the project of a fellow named Dick Matthews and wrote it up. This fits exactly with the 1958 timeframe mentioned in the margin.
Having just found the article in the March 1958 Hot Rod I’m sure that’s what it is — although the paint scheme then was the reverse…
As Found Number Three
Reader (and contributor) David Hewitt sent this photo to us, an “as found”, more or less, at Watkins Glen in circa 1968. He couldn’t identify it so we hit the books to discover that it is a Vignale Ferrari, Serial Number 0238A. That makes it a 340 America. Originally the car was bodied by Vignale as a three-port spider, but suffered an accident and was rebodied again by Vignale as this Mexico-like coupe. But wait, the coupe body was later removed and the chassis again rebodied with a Vignale spider. Today, according to Marcel Massini, the body seen here has a non-Ferrari chassis. Our thanks to Hewitt and Massini!
As Found Number Two
This photo that I’m sending you is not exactly an “As Found” classic, but an original photo of the Plymouth Explorer 1954, circa 1959 with the owner’s wife posing. At least the body is Italian, by Ghia, as you did remark that only Italian and French were accepted.
Carlos Reis de Carvalho, Portugal
As Found Number One
This photo elicited the following response from one of our readers, Montague Gammon III. It may well have been the same Lancia.
Hard on the brakes at well over the speed limit in the left lane of Route 13 on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, I spun the wheel of my slightly tatty Plymouth Horizon and screeched into the break in the median strip.
I think I heard curses from the driver of the pickup that had been behind me, as he went on his way after getting his cardio stimulation for the day.
You see, parked in the field across the road was a grey Lancia Aurelia B20 – considered the progenitor of the modern GT car.
OK – not exactly a sports car, but a true classic, meant for sporty driving.
The underside was rusted solid. The farmer who materialized to greet me – I didn’t see from where – told me he would sell it for $1000.
But what would I do with a project car, with no garage on the campus of the boarding school where I worked and lived in Westchester, nor at my parents’ Norfolk (VA) apartment?
I was very far from being motivated enough or skilled enough to do the work myself, and surely not solvent enough to pay anyone else.
So I went on my way, and left a car that is worth a huge multiple of that one grand, even if it remains rusted solid 28 years later.
I needed a car I could drive, albeit chosen for fun. So I’m not kicking myself like I do about other missed automotive opportunities, but I do wonder what happened to the B20. I can’t believe it rusted away – I was surely not the only person driving up the Delmarva Peninsula who would recognize it. I have asked about it through online Lancia bulletin boards, but no one has answered me.
I guess the questions of how it came to be there, and where it went, will remain unanswered until the day I die.
By then I may be the last person in the world who remembers the sight of Pinin Farina’s finely sculpted form, subtly curved and grey and graceful, standing alone in a flat plowed field, in the farm land of eastern Virginia.
Montague Gammon III is an Ivy League educated arts writer, auto enthusiast and Henry Manney fan in Norfolk, Virginia. He currently
writes for Veer Magazine, Hampton Roads Magazine, and Examiner.com